Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT), a leader in developing targeted small molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) and companion imaging agents for personalized therapy, today announced financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, and provided a clinical update.

“We continue to be pleased with the progress of our two lead, clinical-stage assets, EC1456 and EC1169, in Phase 1 dose escalation studies. Both drugs are very well-tolerated and show evidence of anti-tumor activity. Maximum tolerated dose has not yet been reached with either drug,” said Ron Ellis, Endocyte’s president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to providing more detailed updates on both of these dose escalation trials at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in June.”

Endocyte recently announced promising data at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, highlighting its preclinical work in the area of immuno-oncology. In collaboration with Purdue University, the company announced a novel approach that makes possible the engineering of a single universal chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell that can be targeted to multiple receptors on cancer cells through the use of unique, small molecule, bispecific adaptors. This approach has the potential to address major challenges faced by other CAR T cell technologies, by improving the management of safety, having a mechanism to address tumor heterogeneity, and lowering the cost of therapy.

Also at AACR, Endocyte announced data reflecting the promise of synergistic activity of its SMDCs in combination with immune modulating therapies. The combination of EC1456 with an anti-PD1 antibody demonstrated curative activity in models expressing PD-L1. It was further demonstrated that treated animals developed an immune response when tumors were re-introduced months after the cessation of therapy.

“These new developments, along with our new lead development candidate in oncology, which deploys a dual mechanism of cytotoxic tumor cell killing plus activity against tumor associated macrophages, demonstrates the range of applications of our SMDC platform,” added Ron Ellis. “The ability to target receptors with high specificity and deeply penetrate the tumor microenvironment uniquely positions SMDCs to be effective not only as targeted cytotoxic agents, but also by engaging the immune system to participate in the fight against disease. We look forward to a deeper discussion of the data and the science behind these approaches at a research event later this year.”(Original Source)

Shares of Endocyte closed yesterday at $3.77, down $0.13 or -3.33%. ECYT has a 1-year high of $6.35 and a 1-year low of $2.65. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $3.59 and its 200-day moving average is $3.86.

On the ratings front, Endocyte has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 3, Wedbush analyst David Nierengarten maintained a Buy rating on ECYT, with a price target of $8, which implies an upside of 112.2% from current levels. Separately, on March 2, Cowen’s Boris Peaker maintained a Buy rating on the stock .

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, David Nierengarten and Boris Peaker have a total average return of 33.2% and 13.3% respectively. Nierengarten has a success rate of 49.5% and is ranked #26 out of 3838 analysts, while Peaker has a success rate of 45.9% and is ranked #185.

Endocyte, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company, which develops targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. The company uses its proprietary technology to create novel small molecule drug conjugates and companion imaging diagnostics for personalized targeted therapies. Its small molecule drug conjugates are actively target receptors that are over-expressed on diseased cells. The company was founded by P. Ron Ellis and Philip S. Low on December 6, 1995 and is headquartered in West Lafayette, IN.